The Nigerian Government has ordered the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to make consultations with the relevant stakeholders so as to come up with new and separate cut-off marks for admission into universities, polytechnics and colleges of education from 2017.
This is contained in a statement issued on Monday by the Deputy Director (Press and Public Relations), in the Ministry of Education, Ben Goong.
In the statement, Goong said that the directive was given by the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, after a one-day meeting with chief executive officers in the ministry.
Goong quoted the minister as saying that it “is wrong to subject candidates seeking admission to different higher institutions to the same cut-off marks when the duration and contents of their courses are different.”
While Prof. Anwukah approved the decision by JAMB to reduce its cut-off marks for admission into tertiary institutions, he however insisted that the current policy of adopting 180 as the uniform cut-off point for admission lacked fairness, equity and logic.
Goong said, “The minister is in full support of the decision of the board to introduce discriminatory cut-off marks for admissions into the institutions.”
The Exam Body was also directed to furnish the Education Ministry with publications, in full, the list of unutilised admission slots into all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education on a course-by-course basis at the end of the first leg of the admission process.
This, according to Anwukah, was to enable students and parents to take full advantage of existing admission vacancies in institutions where such exist.
The minister said this would prevent a situation where some institutions had more than the number of students they needed, while others could hardly fill their quotas.
At the meeting, JAMB Registrar/Chief Executive, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, told the minister that the belief that the carrying capacity of Nigerian universities was far below the number of candidates that qualified for admission was wrong.
According to him, only those with 180 cut-off mark can be considered for admission, adding that out of those who met the criterion, a significant number might not have the five credits required.
Oloyede stated that 80 per cent of the 1.5 million candidates, who apply to write JAMB examination annually, do not have the qualifications to sit for it.
The JAMB Registrar further added that 40 per cent of candidates, who pass JAMB annually, did not have the qualification to study in the university.